Posted on 2 July 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei




The Noitamina time-slot surely rocked beyond belief this season. Alongside Sarai-ya Goyou aired the possibly even better Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei, the latest product of Masaaki Yuasa of Kaiba-fame. This time, he went for a ton-of-dialogue artsy character-study slash college life series, in which we follow the lead character as he explores a wide variety of different clubs and lifestyles during his years in college throughout many parallel dimensions. And it works out wonderfully.

At first sight, the way in which this series keeps resetting itself after every episode may seem weird at first, but it actually was a brilliant method to flesh out its different characters. Because of its very frequent resets, this stands out even more than series that did similar things in the past, like Higurashi and Umineko. Because of this, we get to see a ton of different sides of the characters that would never have been able to been shown without these resets, and the most important part is that we see Watashi develop in many different ways throughout each episode. The different side-characters all have their own parts to play in Watashi (the lead character)’s world and everything comes together wonderfully in the final episodes.

All of this is accompanied by some truly excellent dialogue. This series is based on an actual novel, rather than a manga or light novel, and it really shows. The dialogue is incredibly fast and you really need to pay attention to keep up with it, but as a narration it offers very detailed descriptions of the situations that Watashi finds himself in, which is nearly always very imaginative in the ways that it does so, with quite a number of witty remarks.

One potential pitfall could have been for the series to lose itself in either its dialogue and visuals, but neither happens. There are a ton of details stuffed into this series in order to make all episodes stand out, but in the same way the main message and characters remain deceptively simple on the outside. In comparison, while Kuchuu Buranko felt a bit like a loose cannon at times, every moment of Yojou-han is instead meant to bring colour to the life in which Watashi is living, and build up for the episodes that are still to come. Because the huge amount of building up, the first half of this series is decidedly less impressive than the second half, but the build-up is definitely worth it.

It’s a series that doesn’t try to provoke the biggest emotional response, but as a character-study it really stands out as a minor masterpiece here, in the way that it very subtly manages to flesh out and characterize its entire cast. Especially after the final episodes, it stands out as my favourite show of the series that premiered during the past spring season.

Storytelling: 10/10 – Fresh, and varied, skillfully combining repetition with new ideas to flesh itself out. Top notch narration.
Characters: 9/10 – The formula really allows the characters to come alive and show many different sides of themselves.
Production-Values: 9/10 – It’s Masaaki Yuasa. Do I need to say anything more?
Setting: 9/10 – Spoilerific to go in detail here but yeah: this one rocks too.

Suggestions:
Mind Game (another one of those movies that I’d review entirely different if I were to watch it today)
Amatsuki
Revolutionary Girl Utena

Posted on with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei



Well, so here it finally is: the ending I’ve been looking forward to the most this season. And indeed: this really was the best ending of the season for me. It was a wonderful wrap up of all of the build-up that this series has done.

So in this episode, Watashi continues to wander through all of the parallel worlds of his own life that he’s been trapped in, but the big difference with the previous episode was that he finally starts piecing everything together in an attempt to get out of that maze in which he can only eat castella and fish burgers that are lying around.

Most of this episode actually was a summary of what happened in the previous episodes, but by finally thinking about them and piecing everything together, Watashi finally started to notice that Mochigumo that kept hanging above him. Like expected, that was indeed the opportunity that kept dangling in front of him. That part really was the only potential pitfall of this episode: many shows have failed with such a cheesy romantic conclusion, but the way in which Watashi finally realized that he developed a crush over Akashi was well portrayed, and subtle. In fact, his entire confession was wonderfully different from what you usually see. It wasn’t dramatic at all, and instead just felt very natural. Or as natural as you can get a guy to act, wearing nothing but a scarf and talking about disappearing underpants.

Instead, the dramatic climax was… about Oz. Watashi finally came to terms with Oz as a character, and accepted him for who he was. Interestingly, Oz’s facial expression also completely changed here. It shows even more that we see all of this from the perspective of Watashi, in which he’s this evil bastard and therefore also has this continuous grin on his face. the same goes for the fortune teller: she also looks totally different now.

Overall though, it’s awesome to see that Masaaki Yuasa is constantly trying to improve himself. The big weakness of Kaiba was its rushed ending, so here instead he comes with a perfectly planned out series across eleven episodes, in which the final episode is really meant to give closure to everything. Whether Yojou-han surpassed Kaiba… nah. The rest of Kaiba was just that good. Nevertheless, Yojou-han was a really well written character-study that has a good chance of becoming the most unique series of 2010.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 26 June 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei



This episode was brilliant, there’s no other way to it. it’s THE proof that this very much was a series that was building up to its conclusion right from the beginning, and now that everything is coming together, it has just surpassed itself. It’s without a doubt my favourite episode of Yojou-han so far. Really, out of all the endings this season, I’m looking forward to the final episode of this series the most.

So in this episode we were promised that finally Watashi would break through the tradition of joining random clubs and pushing reset buttons, but I’m very pleasantly surprised with how he actually did it. Instead of running after a whimsical dream, he just gives up. He spends god knows how long in his own room, and eventually he ends up trapped in a maze full of endless parallel worlds of this room.

I loved how the creators portrayed Watashi and his confusion as he tried to make sense of his situation. It’s interesting how he just doesn’t speak in this episode aside from just one line: all we hear are just some grunts and his inner monologues, which seemed to be wittier and more descriptive than ever here. Especially the scenes in which he just tried to waste time were priceless in how down to earth they were.

In the end, this indeed is a series about parallel worlds: worlds that can change depending on even the slightest decisions that you can make different. Even in the current world, there were aspects that returned in other worlds, like the Castella. Oh, and the cockroach trick “backfired” with some hilarious result. What’s also interesting is that Watashi usually hardly ever was at home. In all of the rooms that the Watashi of this episode crossed, he only came across himself once (also explaining why that weird man with a beard appeared: it wasn’t exactly an older version, just a version of Watashi who refused to shave).

It’s also interesting how Oz doesn’t seem to be the main bad guy of this series after all. This also could be expected after the previous episode, but it seems that Oz is just another characters in all of the universes that Watashi takes place in. This anime really is a journey of self-discovery for Watashi. The main concept wouldn’t be that different if Oz weren’t there, and the biggest difference is that Watashi didn’t have someone to put him down to earth by reminding him what an idiot he is.

Now, this really is a series that’s perfect for the short airtime of 11 episodes: it’s short but focused, and knows what it’s building up to. Those are often the most successful short series, compared to the ones that either just cut off, or try to do just too much in too little time. That will make for enjoyable series, but not the masterpieces like Yojou-han and Kaiba because it can never get really in-depth about its characters.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 19 June 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei



This was just awesome, the way in which everything came together in this episode, and there still are two episodes left for Yojou-han’s conclusion. This episode took events from all of the previous episodes and wove them masterfully into one.

Very different from usual, Watashi ended up being a bad guy here, rather than joining a regular club. It was some sort of evil society that was responsible for the rounding up of bikes in episode three. I think that this was the first time he really made Akashi angry here. In fact, we get confirmation that she’s still a member of the same clubs as she’s ever been in, and we get more and more a confirmation that every episode is the same, aside from which club Watashi decides to enter. The previous three episodes were special in the way that he wasn’t too involved in these clubs (an English club and reading club… yeah), which allowed him to explore love a bit more, instead of getting all caught up with these clubs here.

In all of these episodes, he met Akashi in different ways, because they pretty much were in the same campus, and she happened to live next to Ozu. Ozu on the meantime… I really begin to suspect that he was involved in everything here, from the tennis club to being Higuchi’s disciple to being the captain of the lucky cat Chinese restaurant. The reason he was involved in the cult in episode five was because his girlfriend was that raven-haired maiden that Watashi was chasing after back then; that’s why he crashed that airship. This episode finally revealed all of his motivations.

There was one big difference here though, that doesn’t really fit into the canon of the other episodes: Watashi did NOT find Akashi’s Mochiguman, but instead Ozu went after it. Could this be a hint that Watashi is getting further and further away from her, and that he’s just failing to notice what’s right in front of him? This episode does show that now that he finally found wealth and power he still feels like he’s missing something, which was pretty much the first time he acknowledged this.

Also, this episode did NOT feature a rewind. Instead we just have Watashi sulking in his room. I think that out of all the conclusions this season, Yojou-han is the one I’m looking forward to the most. There are just so many ways in which it can go, and I really feel like the creators have been carefully building up towards that ending.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 12 June 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei



What am amazing conclusion to the love triangle arc. Seriously, Sarai-ya Goyou has really gotten some serious competition for my favourite series of the season, I really love the way in which Masaaki Yuasa has been delivering this series so far. This episode was nearly again the exact same as the previous two, only with the focus on Keiko, Watashi’s pen-pal, and a different conclusion.

The past arc has been brilliant in making everything spiral out of control. It’s THE proof that repetition doesn’t need to be bad, provided that you use it well. There have been tons of series who did amazing things with it (Utena, Higurashi, Jigoku Shoujo and Umineko, and it’s very interesting to see Yojou-han joining them.

I think we all knew that Keiko was actually Oz, the moment he handed Watashi that magazine, in which he found Keiko’s address. Part of what made this episode so much fun though was the way in which he was so genuinely enamoured with her. The look on his face (and especially the dialogue that went on inside his head) at the moment he found out that he had been exchanging love letters with Oz was priceless.

Akaishi’s role in everything also turned out to be very interesting in the past arc. The big difference with the previous arcs is that Watashi actually did something nice for her, instead of ignoring her (that was probably the meaning of the promise-scene of the earlier episodes: it’s to show that the two actually fit each other quite well, but because Watashi is so incredibly dense he never made any advances on her and forgot about his promises to her). Also, she’s living next to Oz.

Seriously, now that prediction that Higuchi made back into that first episode gets a new dimension with this. Who knows how often they hooked up with each other while Watashi was messed up in his umpth weird idea? We’ve heard of Oz’s girlfriend before, but have we actually seen her once? And again: Johnny was no use in this episode, and Watashi again left her. But then again, he really was in love with the image of Keiko he created. That’s the really weird part here: his love for Hanuki felt a bit shallow. Instead however, he has been genuinely in love with two women who didn’t exist. In fact, Watashi is a guy who just keeps chasing after these abstracts that don’t really exist, instead of looking what’s right in front of him: something concrete that can make him happy. Johnny turned out to be the complete opposite of this: not looking far away, but instead just trying to go after what’s right in front of him.

I really wonder what those final episodes will be about: how will they put everything to a conclusion? This is Masaaki Yuasa. For the sake of spoilers I’ll be vague in this, but ‘certain’ series of his have had really… ‘interesting’ endings.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 4 June 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei



Awesome, this is exactly as I hoped: this show just continues to get better and better. Screw the repetition, every episode manages to add ten new things for everything it recaps. I was a bit fearful of the prospect of having an episode more similar to its predecessor than ever (who knows, perhaps it might even have pulled a “Seraphim Call”), but this episode very skillfully took the the previous episode, and built further upon it.

The overall scenario is pretty much the same as in the previous episode, it’s just the focus and ending are different. Instead we gloss over Hanuki and the pen pal, and instead this episode is about the love triangle around between Watashi, Jougasaki and the love doll. Oh, and Johnny. He has gotten way more extreme with this episode.

This episode really was masterfully written, not just how Watashi’s feelings kept spiralling out of control, but also that Jougasaki kept entrusting Kaori more and more to Watashi in a surprisingly similar way as how we’ve seen him in the second episode. On top of that there were also a ton of parallels with that proxy proxy war of episode four. Seriously, it felt like Ozu kept pestering him even without Watashi’s help. That could explain why he’s been so relatively absent in the past few episodes. It would be pretty awesome if he was some kind of ever-present prankster.

The next episode will be about the pen pal. the end of this episode even hinted at that. But what about episode 10 and 11? Especially Akashi had a really weird role in these episodes, as she was supposed to be the female love interest and instead Watashi has chosen three other girls to fall in love with. Will episode 10 actually be the same as these past two episodes, but on the perspective of Akashi?

It makes me think about the one oddball episode about this series: the one about Higuchi’s disciple. All of the other episodes were about portraying Watashi as some sort of socially awkward loser: the past two episodes were all about his desire to remain pure, and the other episodes really all stressed what a social dork he is. That episode was different, though. His life was miserable there not because of his own actions, but rather only because he ended up choosing the wrong club at the beginning of his university life. That proxy-proxy war was completely different from Watashi’s other struggles, not to mention that really weird scene in which Higuchi suddenly started riding a giant whale.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 28 May 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei




This episode finally introduces that strange cowboy we’ve been seeing in the OP. Guess what his name is? I really thought that it was some kind of Euphemism that Eden of the East came up with, but here we’ve got another show that comes up with that strange nickname.

In any case, this episode was just awesome, by far the best of Yojou-han yet. It was a masterfully written romance that felt incredibly refreshing when compared to all of the uninspired high school romances out there. It’s the episode that finally gets a close look at Hanuki, the dentist assistant. Watashi meanwhile is in the middle of a really weird love polygon in which he often hangs out with her after club activities (this time it’s the English Club, at which for once he doesn’t suck… or at least feel out of place at), exchanges letters with a mysterious girlfriend whose identity we never really learn and somehow ended up taking care of Jougasaki. Hanuki in the meantime also hangs out with Jougasaki and it’s heavily implied that Master is her boyfriend.

The reason this episode rocked so much was how well it got into Watashi’s head for this episode. Especially when the liquor popped up everything kept spiralling out of control masterfully. I’m not exactly a fan of Johnny’s voice actor, but nevertheless it shows what a genius Masaaki Yuawa is at portraying chaos.

Ozu this time was interesting again, in the way that he was very much out of the picture for the biggest part of this episode. He’s still causing trouble, but it’s affecting Watashi less and less: he actually got close to three girls other than Watashi here. Speaking of which: she never made an appearance at all. This was a very interesting episode of Watashi, experimenting with other women than what this series made out to be his “true love”; very refreshing.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 21 May 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei



It’s of course easy to immediately start comparing this show to Kaiba, however I opted not to do this for the first four episodes. Simply, because that would not be fair. Kaiba was a stellar series, and amongst my favourites. Expecting the same would just be unrealistic. The interesting thing about anime is that beforehand you almost never know which shows will turn out to be the best. Even more, Kaiba had a stellar first episode. Yojou-han instead was completely focused on building up. Kaiba sold me with its incredibly creative back-story and its gripping narrative. Yojou-han instead has its dialogue, repetition and wit. With a series as Durarara, you can see that it tried to look like Baccano at times, however Yojou-han makes no attempt at trying to catch in on Kaiba’s… um… popularity.

This show is weird: we’re still stuck in those random campus life stories. In this episode, Watashi ends up in a hippie-cult full of peace-loving flower-children that look a lot like scienology. It’s another story of how he completely throws away his first two years at college, just in an attempt to fit in. It’s actually very similar to the third episode in which he couldn’t fit into the cyclist club because he wasn’t athletic, here too he couldn’t fit into the softball club because he wasn’t one of those people who always look at the bright side of life. Here things got carried way more out of control though, because Ozu was surprisingly absent here. He for once only caused trouble that helped Watashi.

What’s also interesting is that Akashi still is Higuchi’s disciple. Her role seems to be all over the place, it seems. Sometimes she ends up joining the same club as Watashi, sometimes she doesn’t. Sometimes she’s straight-up his love interest, but this episode has him chasing after someone completely different. I think a key is also that she’s a year younger than him, so by the time that she gets to join college he’s also completely involved in whatever stupid club he’s involved in. I think a major theme in this show has been the contrast between Watashi’s image of romance, between the types of girls that he’s actually interested in. Watashi ends up in such a huge mess every time because his expectations of college life are completely different, and instead of choosing a club that fits him he instead keeps choosing clubs that fits the romantic image that he has in his head. He just is an anti-social character, and I’m beginning to think that Ozu and Akashi always end up with him because they too aren’t fond of socializing and doing regular college stuff.

I also labelled Watashi as a loser once, but that also doesn’t quite turn out to be the truth. He can be quite successful when he wants to: he can train and become very muscular, he can make a lot of money through jobs, he can put together an entire movie on his own. It’s not like he’s not good at anything, he just doesn’t use his energy at the right places and instead wastes it on stupid stuff that only make his life miserable.

In any case, what I’m trying to say here is that Yojou-han episodes have this weird effect. Especially this one. Overall this episode was enjoyable, though nothing special when you get past the styles. There were a number of interesting jokes, plus the critique at scientology also had its moments, but it’s nothing that I would label amongst Giant Killing and Sarai-ya Goyou as my favourite of this season. However the final few minutes in a Yojou-han episode are very often the best ones. We get to see the point at which Watashi snaps and turns back time, but the whole episode also comes together surprisingly clever. This episode even added to the previous episode (explaining that the 20000 leagues under sea novel and the globe actually were from Watashi and he thought that Ozu stole them).

The weirdest thing here was this future version of Watashi suddenly popping up. Was this just symbolism, or is this going to continue more often? In any case I must say that I was right in not expecting too much from the first few episodes of this, because after a few episodes that may not have been the most exciting I’m getting more and more excited about this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 13 May 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei



This series was already a bit surreal at times, but this episode took it even farther. The visual symbolism in this episode was just all over the place, and it loved pulling all kinds of weird visual references to events that were happening, the most obvious being the point at which Higuchi started singing.

It was a really weird episode, and probably the hardest one to understand so far due to all of the things that were thrown at us, ranging from the scavenger hunt for the weird brush to the rock-paper-scissors match at the end.

Watashi wasn’t exactly a loser here, as much as a devout follower of Higuchi and his weird ideas. Ozu this time was the bastard in the way that he was playing a bit of a double spy. They’re far less extreme than in the previous episodes, but I think that that’s because of Higuchi’s influence at work, who kept them at bay. Ozu could only be a small bastard, because for some reason it seemed impossible to really make Higuchi’s life bad.

I’m also very curious about the next episode. Wasn’t this series supposed to be just about four stories? Could that mean that we’re going to revisit the tennis club again in the next episode? Overall, the status quo in this series seems to be two deaths of Watashi, one life in hiding, and one life wasted on some weird guy.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 6 May 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei




This series really is why I love episodic series. The bad ones obviously suck beyond belief, but when shows like this one make optimal use of them they can really turn into something unique, and the short stories can allow for ideas that would normally not fit within a linear storyline. A lot of things have to be done right in order to get a good episodic series, though, but to me the key seems to be creativity, along with somehow finding a way to build-up: connecting the different episodes together. I believe that if these aren’t present, you’re just better off with a linear storyline in order to get the best out of your characters. But Yojou-han has both of them.

This seems to me a study of all types of losers. Watashi is socially inept throughout all the episodes, but every time it is in a different way. In the previous episodes he created his own problems by his pranks, but in this episode he just was another one of those losers who didn’t fit in because he had no athletic skills. Ozu instead of trying to get him into his pranks instead left him completely out of it for once. Interestingly though, I do believe that Watashi’s character has remained the same throughout the first three episodes: what we just see is him, reacting to different situations in a different way. That definitely is one interesting way of character-development. You can see his reckless parts in the way that he flew into his death at the end of this episode: it’s exactly those parts that we saw in episode two when he created that crazy video.

Whether Akashi and Ozu are the same… I’m not sure yet. This episode showed that Yojou-han is a show in which Watashi, Akashi and Ozu hop between different clubs, all three with their own agendas, while the rest remains constant. The actor of the previous episode still is an actor here. Akashi in this episode proves that she’s actually a very good cyclist. In this episode she loses her strap again, but there’s no promise scene. The cake is also gone. She’s a lot less cold than what she was in the first two episodes as well, it seems. As for Ozu, if he indeed also is the same character in every episode, then he strikes me as a guy who always grabs every opportunity to make someone’s life miserable, finding the right allies to accompany him. In this episode there probably already was some sort of bike-stealing club, which is why he didn’t really need Watashi. The second episode in contrast only needed him to show what a guy that actor really was: Watashi himself just did the rest.

Either way, I love the concept of this series: showing how the same people in different settings can be so different.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser Eoghan
Bah, haven't you heard, the best villain category was for the dictionary in Lost passage, must have been bastard-hard effort getting that compiled =P
AidanAK47
To sum that up, don't bully my waifu or I will end you.
AidanAK47
@Mario, She only killed him once and tortured him for information once. Both times because he had something which showed he had a connection to the witch. Besides, the anime mainly showed off her good points but she still has a crushing inferiority complex and a rather delicate mindset.
SuperMario
Oh I have one. How about Lovepon? lol
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it was sarcasm actually, if we do it again next year we might cut down some categories. But I totally agree that we're lacking of good villains. Biba and that teacher are the worst as they actually dragged their shows down.
Topgavin
Honestly though there's been a real lacking of good villains last year. I hear some guy from Jojo was pretty good, but other than that they've either been okay or lackluster. Makes you wonder how FMA:B managed to get so many villians right in so many ways when shows usually fail to get even 1 half as good.
Topgavin
@Supermario Biba or Teacher-dude from Erased surely...
SuperMario
Maybe we should include the best villain next time, haha. I honestly don't know who to pick...
SuperMario
oh Rem, that demon girl who tried to kill Subaru many times over. Why is she the best girl again?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I watched Moonlight last night in cinema and it was great. I had high expectation for that and it pretty much delivered. Also Janelle Monae was so freaking hot.
SuperMario
OMG, that 3rd episode of Rakugo was so greattttt. @Lenlo: don't need to understand the meaning of the rant thou, Yotaro doesn't understand either
Kaiser Eoghan
Think of the fine children/breeding stock Aidan and rem would offspring =P
Kaiser Eoghan
Dye their hair, make things confusing ;)
AidanAK47
@Anon, hahahaha, cool joke bro.....
...............................Don't make me destroy you.
Lenlo
The one with red hair of course
Anonymous765953
rem? who's that?
Lenlo
Having read the books, theres afew inconsistencies and I dont like some of the choices for actors.
Kaiser Eoghan
*couldn't
Kaiser Eoghan
Buh buh but Aiiiidan you still have the koe no katachi movie and thaaats kyoani =P But lol phantom world was so poor I couldn't get past the second episode. A shame that they could go with the darker spin the author ended up apparently going for in later volumes.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I am currently eh on it as well. Only at the second episode so far. I find it interesting but it has a lot of things that turn me off.
Lenlo
7 YEARS I SAT ON THAT BOAT!

Still havnt finished Flip Flappers. I like it, its pretty, each episode is different, but I can barely tell what the over-arching narrative is and thats a big deal to me
Lenlo
ITS REAL
Lenlo
BOAT TIER
Lenlo
@Aidan, Series of Unfortunate Events was eh. I wasnt a big fan of the TV adaptation, though I did like Neil Patrick Harris
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: BOAT TIER lmao.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thats why I LOVED flippflappers so much, where else can I get THAT anywhere, totally its own thing/beast.
Lenlo
My big ones for the year were easily Rakugo and Re:Zero. Disappointments, biggest one is Berserk. Ive been following it for years, have the entire series on my shelf, and I watched it like a captain going down with his ship
Kaiser Eoghan
At the same time well, yes its still good to see a non-highschool story in ANYTHING.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, you see I don't really award points to an anime doing something unique to anime, I judge by all mediums as a group/whole. 91 days may be a mafia drama, kabaneri may be a zombie show but theres already plenty of those in the world elsewhere.
Kaiser Eoghan
I could see myself getting some oldskool charm out of alderman if I watched it. I was waiting for yuri on ice to be dubbed. Drifters for all its problems was some of the most fun I've had in ages.
Kaiser Eoghan
The only thing I saw that I truly abhorred though was the new shinkai film.
Kaiser Eoghan
Most of the other stuff I didn't really bother watching. Its pointless for me to shit on about 91 days and re:zero because I was guaranteed to dislike both before seeing either.
Kaiser Eoghan
Biggest disappointments for me were erased , berserk and joker game. Whereas my surprise was lost passage. My favourites of the year were flippflappers and Rakugo. I wanted Kabaneri and dimesion w to save anime and bring back some oldskool charm but that didn't happen.
AidanAK47
Alright I spent over an hour formatting this thing and now I am knackered. Readers, this summery is over 23 pages long so be prepared as this thing is pretty huge. Don't say you were not warned.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Watch it. I bet it will be up your alley.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thats a problem with adaptations, put a voice on certain characters and it can become irritating.
Kaiser Eoghan
And to be fair on scums wish, that it deals with the sex bit in a teen story, well that makes it more daring and thats points for it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Largely stayed away from that series as I assumed it was for young children.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Additionally the relationships in that manga got too convoluted, the comedy stands out worse in the anime too. Still though I DO dig the idea behind the show of two kids who are in a fake relationship.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, you think that's hard to watch try watching Netflix's A series of unfortunate events. Because boy do I want to brutally murder the banker and his family. That may sound severe to you but trust me, you will feel likewise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You were right about it being harder to watch scums wish than read it. I want to hit the twin tails girl with a hatchet.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm laughing now remembering an old ANN review where they stated golgo 13 was a stress reliever for 30 something Japanese office workers, I get that so much more now lol
Kaiser Eoghan
But seriously violence in fiction, anime/manga included is so damn therapeutic.
Kaiser Eoghan
As such I genuinely was able to enjoy the new M night shaylman flick lol
Kaiser Eoghan
Venting here largely because I can, I now imagine the teenage/twenty something audience members at horror/thriller films as the victims in the films, makes it more tolerable to deal with their existence in the cinema.
Lenlo
I cant help but feel theres some cultural aspect I am missing to the Rakugo rant scene. Makes me sad.
Lenlo
Rakugo, continues to be great and gets another time skip. Im always surprised by how engrossing it is just listening to these people talk.
Lenlo
Makes me sad, just like Berserk. Got an entire shelf dedicated to it but its just so slow. stupid boat.
Lenlo
Vagabond was phenomenal, but its been on hiatus for years now hasnt it
Kaiser Eoghan
....well without spoiling towards the middle of that rakugo episode and all throughout during that middle part, my opinion on Yotaro's character went far up.
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
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